Aarti Sequeira’s Sloppy Bombay Joes Fuse Indian Flavors with an American Classic

Aarti Sequeira proved she could seamlessly fuse Indian flavors into any dish when she won The Next Food Network Star. And on her show, Aarti Party, she revealed her Sloppy Bombay Joe recipe which incorporates warm spices into this classic American dish. 

Aarti Sequeira
Aarti Sequeira | Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage

Aarti Sequeira is Food Network star

Sequeira is a Mumbai native who initially pursued a career in journalism and worked for CNN as a producer.  She then went to the New School of Cooking and received a professional certificate. 

In 2010, Sequeira became a contestant on the sixth season of Food Network’s cooking competition, The Next Food Network Star. She won the season, and as a result, she earned her own cooking show on the channel called Aarti Party. In an interview, with Reality Wanted, the chef revealed how and why she likes to infuse Indian flavors in her dishes.

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“Indian food uses a lot of spices that we are not familiar with because they are just not a part of the American food palette,” Sequeira said. “All of these spices are available at the supermarket, you can get cumin, fennel, coriander, turmeric, it’s all there, and it’s just learning how to combine them.”

Sequeira joined Guy’s Grocery Games as a judge in 2014. The same year, Sequeira published her first cookbook, Aarti Paarti: An American Kitchen with an Indian Soul

She recently made a meal with Selena Gomez

Sequeira recently joined Selena Gomez on her HBO cooking show, Selena + Chef. In the episode, titled “Selena + Aarti Sequeira: Friendsgiving,” the chef showed Gomez how to make tandoori butter turkey breast, sweet potatoes, gravy, green beans, and cranberry chutney.

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Sequeira was joined by her friends during the episode. And Gomez also invited her besties over to help her cook the Friendsgiving meal.

Aarti Sequeira’s Sloppy Bombay Joes fuse Indian spices with a classic American dish

On Aarti Paarti, Sequeira shared her recipe for Sloppy Bombay Joes. Instead of ground beef, she uses ground turkey to make it a lighter, healthier dish. Sequeira also incorporates dry fruits and nuts to give the Sloppy Joes a real sweet and savory spin. The recipe — which comes from the Food Network — serves flour to six people. Here’s what you need to get started:

For the Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 serrano chile pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce

For the Joes:

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • (1/4 cup) raisins
  • (1/4 cup) shelled pistachios
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • a large white onion, finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 serrano chile pepper (chop if you prefer it to be spicy)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half
  • Small handful fresh cilantro (with stems)
  • 4 sesame buns

Once you have the ingredients on hand, follow these steps:

  1. For the sauce, heat the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Then add the ginger, garlic, and chile pepper and cook until the ginger and garlic brown slightly, around 1 minute.
  2. Add garam masala and paprika, cook for 30 seconds. Add tomato sauce and 1 cup of water. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
  3. For the sloppy joes, start by heating 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the raisins and pistachios and cook, stirring until the raisins swell up and the pistachios toast slightly around 1 minute. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  4. Put the skillet back on medium heat and add the remaining 1 to 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Then add in cumin seeds and let sizzle for 10 seconds. Add in the onion and bell pepper and cook until softened and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the chile pepper and cook for 2 more minutes. Season with salt. Add turkey and cook until opaque, around 5 minutes.
  5. Add sauce to the turkey-and-onion mixture, stir and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low and simmer until the mixture thickens slightly, around 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the whole chile pepper (unless you chopped it) and stir in honey, half-and-half, raisins, and pistachios. Top with cilantro before serving.